replies, will you do the fan dang go? [laughter] and there's something truly eerie about a program that can do this. but part of what you learn as you interact with these programs, it's not so much that you're not talking to a human as that you're not talking to a human. and that turns out to be a really critical distinction. so if you ask it questions to which there is a correct answer, it will generally have that answer. you say, what country is paris in, it'll say france. how many legs do abilities have? -- ants have? it'll say six. but if you start to ask it questions about itself, you get this very strange sense that you're talking to several thousand people that are being quickly cycled in and out. um, and this was what i discovered when i started to ask cleverbot about its love life.
[laughter] so i say, do you have a boyfriend? cleverbot: not at the moment, but i hope to find one soon. so i venture: i would like to be your boyfriend. [laughter] cleverbot: that would be difficult since i'm happily married. [laughter] curious, i asked again for clarification. user -- sorry, me: do you have a boyfriend? no, i'm still looking for love. do you have a husband? i don't have a husband because it would be illegal for me to have one since i am male. [laughter] male? okay. what gender are you? female. [laughter] once again just for good measure, do you have a boyfriend? not at the moment, but i live in hope. can i be your boyfriend? no, i'm straight. [laughter] >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org.
up next, syndicated columnist mark steyn argues that the united states is destined for financial collapse and a decline in its role as a world leader if current political and cultural norms continue. the author contends that american debt has placed the country in a precarious position and that regulation and lack of innovation have become hallmarks of the country's business climate. mark steyn speaks at the new hampshire institute of politics and political library at saint anselm college in new hampshire. [applause] >> wow. good evening. looks like a lot of people happy to be here. very excited. everybody here to hear the musical theater critic? [laughter] you think i'm joking? [laughter] one thing you're going to learn tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is that the guy that you're here
to see who is named mark steyn is a disabuser of false notions. most of you think you are here to hear a critic, an author, a commentator. let me begin by just reviewing a little bit of his life. because i think one of the neat things about mark steyn is that his very existence is a thumb in the eye to conventional wisdom and to thinks that you -- things that you thought you knew. mark steyn is from toronto, and like any wise and intelligent person, he got out as quick as he could. [laughter] he -- i know, i mean, as quick as he could. like, 16. unfortunately, he made the mistake of going east instead of south. so he wound up in the london. back and forth between canada and england a little bit. now, can you imagine leaving
home as a teenager, bopping back and forth and, you know, the great british empire, what are you going to do with yourself? so this guy becomes lots of different things; rock and roll deejay, classical music deejay, musical theater critic. see? [laughter] he makes documentaries, he writes about opera. opera. this guy lives in the woods in new hampshire. [laughter] he's a cultured, culture critic. you know, i put opera -- i like opera, nothing wrong with opera. i put it in the car when i'm taking the kids camping, you know, so it gives them a little culture as we're about to go kill fish and stuff. [laughter] so this is just a little bit about how cultured and how varied a background mark steyn has. this is a guy that you're going to hear from. now, people will tell you,
especially people who don't like mark steyn. hey, he's a conservative critic. they just are dismissing by saying conservative critic as if, you know, that's something, a, that's something people shouldn't aspire to be, but as if that's belittling or demeaning, as if he just criticizes people. and that, i think, does mark steyn a great injustice. sure, he's an author, best-selling author. by the way, those of you who are here holding copies of his latest book might be interested to know that it was just announced that it made, will debut at number five on "the new york times" hardcover nonfiction list. [applause] yeah. pretty good for a conservative critic, huh? but mark steyn, once he bopped around and did his deejaying and his theater criticism and his
documentaries, somehow wound up being diverted into this life of, you know, what is, i think, dismissers will call a conservative critic or conservative commentator. they are also wrong. again, his life, his work proves them wrong. this guy's not a cultural critic or a conservative critic, he is -- and i'm not exaggerating -- a human rights activist. now, some of you might laugh, right? your idea of a human rights activist is somebody who, you know, might have deadlock -- dreadlocks, holding a sign protesting that we need to take money from the free societies and give it to dictators. that's what people who commonly associate human rights activists with. well, mark steyn is, in fact, a human rights activist. his writing, his work is dedicated to promoting liberty, to making people as free as they
can be. and he doesn't just walk the walk. this is a guy who in writing about issues of freedom, of oppression was brought up on charges -- maybe charges is too strong a word -- was brought before the canada human rights commission and accused of bigotry. but as he said things about muslims, he wrote things after 9/11 about islam, about radical islam that some of the more sensitive people in the islamic community if you want to call it that in canada took offense to. so they took him before three different human rights commissions. now, we in the united states might find this baffling because we enjoy the freedoms to be able to criticize and to call other people out when we think they're doing wrong.
in canada they have a human rights code that says you're not allowed to talk about a group, a person or group, in a way that would summit it to hatred -- subject it to hatred or ridicule or so forth. so this group said, hey, this mark steyn is making people think bad things about muslims. so they brought him up in front of three different human rights commissions. of course, each time it was thrown out. and this is what i love about mark steyn. when it was thrown out of the canada human rights commission, the big national one, when they said, look, nothing he said here really rose to the level of, you know, being something we can lock him up for or censor his writings for although in canada i think it's kind of frightening that there is such a thing as the human rights commission that does have the power to -- as the people who brought him up to the commission warranted -- to direct him and his commission as
to what to say. they tossed it out, and mark steyn got mad and said, i wanted to lose. i wanted to lose so you would take it to court. a real court with real laws so we could put this notion to rest, and we could free the people of canada. that's the kind of person that mark steyn is. that's the kind of human rights activism that i think is so critical and so important today and that you're about to hear a lot about. so with that let's, please, welcome mark steyn. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much, drew. it's wonderful to be here in --
what the hell state are we in fen, drew? oh, right, my state, my state. new hampshire. i hope he's sure about that. you know, i never recognize the bit with indoor plumbing. [laughter] we were supposed to be getting that in my part of the state under the stimulus package, but it fell off the back of the truck somewhere, so we never did. i, he mentioned opera, drew in his introduction, and it's true i used to introduce opera on the television a long time ago. and a neighbor of mine in, up north who does sugaring, and the opera were coming. i notified him that the opera were making a rare appearance, some opera company at, in lebanon, new hampshire. so he thinks, you know, because he's like in the wood, he'd like to see what this opera thing is all about. and we get a couple of tickets, and he's on his way down there in his pickup truck with his
wife. and he gets pulled over by the cop for speeding. and the guy asks for license and registration. he opens the glove box, and three guns fall out. it's not in there. [laughter] he pulls up the thing in the middle, and he pulls out another, like, five or six guns. it's not -- license and registration, he says, i know it's around here somewhere. so he, like, plows around the backseat tossing, you know, another five to seven guns on top of his wife. and eventually the cop gets bored and says, okay, forget it. just bring it in to the police station in, whatever it is, the next seven days. by the way, where are you going in such a hurry? and he goes, to the opera. [laughter] it's -- no, no, you laugh. it makes sense to pack heat at the opera. if you've ever been at a first night at la scala in milan, those arguments can get serious. it's, i want to say something
before we get going tonight. if you're from new hampshire and you listen to me very, very, very, very carefully, you may just hear a very, very faint trace of just a little smidgen of a wee something in the accent. [laughter] that might lead you to believe that i'm not a granite state native. [laughter] i don't want you to worry about it, it's a malfunction in the sound system. [laughter] we spent all afternoon trying to fix it. the engineers from saint an sell m's worked on it nonstop, but it's some kind of miswiring, we couldn't do anything about it. but if you go home and catch this speech when it's shown on your television, you'll find i've been digitally remastered back into my north country yankee accent, so there's nothing to worry about. i love this state, i discovered it by accident, i thought it was beautiful, and i figured it would be nice to get a little
ski condo for perhaps a week's vacation in the winter months. drew was asking how i wound up in if new hampshire just before we came out, so i thought it'd be nice to get a little ski condo. i walked into the realtors 20 minutes later with a 200-year-old farmhouse that needed about 200 years worth of work on it. [laughter] but i fell in love with the land, and i never stopped loving it. there's a spot i walk my dogs every morning that never ceases even after all this time to take my breath away. so i fell in love with the land, and then i fell in love with the system of government. i saw what alexis detorqueville saw when he toured new england, self-reliant citizens governing themselves in their own townships. torqueville was smarter than me. e certainly would never have bought my house, believe me. he probably got the ski condo, fully serviced in loan mountain. he's there every february. [laughter] on the channel 9 ski report,
when they talk about fresh powder, their referring to his wig. [laughter] actually, that's -- a lot of sports bars you play the torqueville shtick just dies, believe me. [laughter] so i came for the sweet land, and i stayed for the liberty which kind of snuck up on me. and the liberty is a little imperilled which is what i'm going to talk about this evening. my book is called "after america: get ready for armageddon." so we're a little ways from "little house on the prairie" type stuff in this book. i was going to say it's available at all good bookstores, but i see most of them have closed down. this very day borders has gone out of business. normally, they only prop my books up at the back in place of al gore's dvd box set, "an inconvenient truth: the director's cut," but this time
round borders is so reluctant to carry the book at all, they've taken the precaution of going out of business. [laughter] if you go to the big borders, and today's the last day. i don't know whether they're keeping their 10:00 closing hour, but if you go to the big borders up in concord, for the first time ever my book's in the front window because even the looters didn't want it. [laughter] when you're launching a book, you always want a bit of a publicity boost, something in the news cycle that gives you a lift, and a lot of my book's about fiscal collapse. two days before the official release date, s&p downgrade america from its aaa status for the first time in history. you know, if you're an author, you can't buy publicity like that. [laughter] i mean, you can if you've got $15 trillion and you're willing to toss it down the great sucking sink hole of the federal treasury, but other than that it gets pretty expensive.
conservatives why i'm being such a hysterical old queen about the whole business, because if you recall president obama's now forgotten that commission, i don't know what did you remember them, all very bipartisan and blue ribbon, just a few months ago they issued a report melodramatically emblazoned the moment of truth. and after that title they proposed such convulsive course corrections as raising the age of social security, eligibility, raising the age social security eligibility to 69, by the year 2075. [laughter] so with wakeup calls like that we can all roll over and sleep in for another half-century, right? [laughter] but some of us have been here before. we foreigners know the spell of the key.
we have lived it, and when we get the width of it in our nostrils in america today that's a very worrying time. we have an advantage. where the canaries in the coal mine. we know what that smell means. let me quote another foreigner who spends part of the year in massachusetts. last year while ferguson, oxford and harvard, joined such eminent thinkers at the aspen ideas festival as barbra streisand and james brolin to, and professor ferguson told barbra streisand, quote, having grown up in a declining empire i do not recommend it. it's just not a lot of fun actually, unquote. and he's right. it's not. it really is a. you don't want to go there. and we are well on the way there. one hell of a fall. we are not like read or portugal or iceland. this deal is entirely different.
no one uses the keyword, trillion in lisbon or dublin. that word is unique to washington. when a multi-trillion dollar catastrophe slides off the cliff it lands with a much bigger threat than iceland or portugal did. one of the saddest aspects of the presence debate is the assumption that american decline will be as comfortable for americans as british decline was for britain when the pax britannica yield to the tax americana after the second world war. dream on. that was the smoothest transfer of global dominance in history. and it isn't going to go that smoothly next time round, next time round already underway. by 2016 according to the imf, the world's leading economy will be a communistic dictatorship. that's in five years time. think about that. if the imf is right, a guy you elected next november will be the last president of the united states to preside over the world's leading economy.
and instead the preeminent economic power would be a one party state, the time is euro residing over a largely peasant population with no genuine market, no human rights, no property rights, no rule of law, no freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, a land whose legal political and cultural traditions are as alien to its predecessors as could be devised. it will not merely marked end of a two century anglophone economic dominance, but even more civilizational the stifling. and like the americans and the british and dutch and italian speak for them, the leading economic power will be a country that doesn't even use the roman alphabet. it's very silly to assume that this is just a matter of dollars and cents, and debt to gdp ratios. when money drains, our dreams remorselessly. the week before my book came out everyone was very excited about whether we would reach a so
called deal on the debt ceiling before the clock chimed midnight on august 2. remove all the fuss? august the second is looming, it's coming, it's approaching. august the second at midnight, if we didn't reach a deal on the debt ceiling, our glittery coach would come back with popcorn -- pumpkin. aas a tragic airport. i may be overstating the metaphor a little. this is classic bell train nonsense. the debt ceiling deadline was entirely relevant. the problem is not deceiving. it's the debt. and sandra bullock negotiate extended night deadline to maintain the illusion to 2 a.m. does not alter the fact that it is an illusion. is to put that debt ceiling debate in perspective, there was a dispute between john boehner
the congressional budget office about so-called scoring of his plan. speaker boehner said his plan called for $7 billion of cuts for the 20 oh budget. the cbo said the plan only reduces the total budget by a billion dollars. which of these numbers is correct? cares? the $7 billion that john boehner calls quote a real enforceable cut for finance year 2012 represents what the government of the united states currently borrows every 37 hours. in other words, between now and the time, and the end of the week we will have borrowed back every dime of those painstakingly negotiated savings. if the cbo scoring is correct that it would reduce the 2012 deficit by just $1 billion, then the cut represents what the united states borrows every five hours and 20 minutes. in other words, in less time that it takes to drive from ipad at stake and back, and the time it takes to watch harry
potter and the deathly hallows, parts one and two with a bathroom break in between, all the savings that was painstakingly negotiated plan will have been borrowed back. 7 billion or 1 billion? who cares who's right? that's a choice between dead or better. amount of shuffling back and forth between the capitol and the right horse, at the white house for a quote real enforceable cut of one to $7 billion, let me give you some numbers that are rather more relevant. within a decade the united states will be spending more of the federal budget on its interest payments than on its military. that's to say more on debt service than on the armed services. according to the cbo's long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the government will be paying between 50, 20% of its revenue and debt interest and defense spending will be down between 14 and 16%. so america, just to get this in
perspective, america is responsible for about 43% of the world military expenditures. within a decade america will be spending more on debt interest, and this is not paying off the principal. this is like when you get your mastercard at the end of the month, you can't pay off any of the debt that all you can do is just say current with the monthly interest charge. our monthly and his charge will be more than the combined military expenditures of china, britain, france, russia, japan, germany, saudi arabia, india, italy, south korea, brazil, canada, australia, spain, turkey and israel. you add up all their military budgets, that's our interest charge on the debt. by 2015 -- by the way, that's if they -- is a return to what they were, what they averaged in the last 20 years, about 5.7%, america will be spending more than the planet entire military
budget on debt interest. by about 2015 we will be recovering the entire cost of the people's liberation army of china. that's what you guys have to pay for. small businesses in bedford, suburban homeowners in nashua will be paying for the entire budget of the chinese military. no president, the roman empire look pretty stupid in its last years, but they didn't say to roman taxpayers that as a matter of policy will have to pick up the bill not just for the roman military, but that is a god military as well. and if they had it would have been so bad because the visigoth military's budget was mostly adults. -- peltz. [laughter] they still would've gotten a better deal than we do. permanence is the illusion of every age. we are not, we're not just
outsourcing the economy. we are outsourcing power. american power fades, it's outsourcing the future to a very dangerous planet. this is a bleak, this is bleak, and i understand this depressing scenario. i don't want to give away the ending of my book, but when we do the musical version that drew seem to be encouraging we will focus the finale and out of town previous, and will change to a happy ending and which michele bachman sees the error of her ways and settles down with the joe biden to run an all seeing, all dance compartment in chicago. it will warm your heart. [laughter] but until we close the deal with disney on that particular project, let me say being grim, it starts with the money but it never stops there. let me spell out what a
post-american world lead. a is for addiction. we spend too much. it's not a revenue issue. it's a spending issue. the united states joined the rest of a constant west will and voting itself lifestyle that was not willing to pay for. and, indeed, can never pay for. because when you spend $4 trillion budget only taken $2 trillion which is the federal government model, you can never close that gap with revenue. when government spends on a scale washington issues to come its not a spending crisis. it's a moral one. there's nothing virtuous about caring, compassionate, progressive demonstrating how caring and compassionate and progressive they are by spending money yet to be earned by generations yet to be born. we are looting the future to bribe the present. indeed, we have learned the future to such an extent it's no longer clear we have one. and that's what so-called fiscal conservatives often this. is not a green eye shade issue.
increasing dependency, disincentivize and self-reliance, of solving this is her from responsibility for their actions, the multi-trillion dollar debt catastrophe is not the problem, but merely the symptom. this is where i disagree with mitch daniels and others. it's not about balancing the books. it's about rebalancing the very structures of society. r is for redistribution. leftists often talk about redistribution of wealth but when you are be disturbing from the future to the president you're redistributing wealth that is not yet been created. wealth that does not exist. meanwhile, day by day in this republic we see an unprecedented transfer of resources from the productive class to the obstructive class. the government, to regulate, two bureaucracies. so if much of this wealth does not yet exist what exactly are we redistributing? we are redistributing limits. we're delivering a self-governing republic into rule by regulars, bureaucrats and social engineers.
just this week the former golden state of california, a broken jurisdiction whose government and dependency class are driving what's left of the productive class to flee its borders, just this last week the state announce that is burning priority is that it needs to regulate bedsheets in the hotels and hotels. it will be illegal under the california sheet regime from hotels and hotels to put non-fitted sheets on their beds. and so they will be the sheet regulatory regime with sheets regulatory enforcers taking down the doors up from 73 of the orange grove motel to check if they're in compliance with the california sheet regime. you can try to resist but they will take the sheet out of you. [laughter] there is an apocryphal orwell quotation to describe the way
pacifists, even pacifists assume the soldiery of their defense around quote, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf, unquote. people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because the state agency of the sheet regulation stands ready to do violence to innkeepers with wrong sheets. by the way, if there's any ku klux klan members here tonight, because i know, i know you tea party guys -- [laughter] i know what it's really about. so if there's any ku klux klan members here tonight, if you're planning on flying in for a lodge meeting with a grand legal in california you will need a fitted sheet, okay? [laughter]
when canada, when canada decriminalize homosexuality. tudo said the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation. but california says oh, yes, we do, if you're consummating of same-sex marriage on a noncompliant sheet. [laughter] and so it goes. i was talking out i was talking to an undocumented immigrant from tijuana, and he says that california is already a byword for sheet government. these are not trivial things. they represent the remorseless redistribution of liberty. seven year old julie was selling lemonade in portland, oregon, when two officers demanded to see her temporary restaurant license, which would have cost her $120. when she failed to produce it, these officers threatened her with a $500 fine.
she's a seven year old girl. they also made her cry. when i read the stories, there was another one, another one in the papers just the other day. u.s. fish and wildlife, an 11 year old girl in virginia, shiloh capital, had rescued a woodpecker from the clutches of a cat, spent a few days nursing it back to health before releasing it. an agent of the united states department of fish and wildlife arrived, along with an escort of the virginia state troopers, to deliver a $535 fine to the little girl who rescued the woodpecker, for the federal crime of transporting a protected species of woodpecker. she transported it out of the mouth -- out of the mouth of the cat was eating it. so the cat with a $530 fine for illegally transporting the woodpecker down your goal.
-- gullet. these are not to small things. two officers, two officers shake down the seven year old girl for the $500 lemonade stand. offices from two agencies, federal and state, make the 11 year old girl, shiloh, cry for rescuing the woodpecker. they should be ashamed of themselves. this is not a small thing. they do not understand the relationship between the citizen and the state. when i read the stories i am always remind of saudi arabia's religious police, the moussaoui, the commission for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice is, except in this case our religious police, the religion they are enforcing his state power. perhaps like the fierce bearded men of, it could be issued with widths and scourges to slay their grades in school citizen
in the street the way they do in saudi arabia. when life and you lemons, you make lemonade, and then watch the state and force turn it back into sour fruit. ask yourself this. it's exactly the same thing as with gun control. gun control is not about guns. it's about control. woodpecker control is not about woodpeckers. it's about control. live in a control is not about lemonade. it's about control. if a second grader can no longer sell homemade lemonade in her front yard without $500 worth of permits, what aspect of your life can't the government regulate? for more and more americans law has been supplanted by regulation. academy set of rules not legislated by representatives that are accountable to the people, but invented by activist bureaucracy much of which is wealth to the left of either political party. you may remember that congress stripped provisions for end-of-life counseling, the so-called death panels, out of
the obamacare. but kathleen sebelius, the second of health and human services, put them back on her say-so. why shouldn't she? the new law contains seven and references to the secretary quote, shall, another 200 to the secretary quote, may. and 139 to the secretary quote, determines. so the secretary may and shall determine pretty much anything she wants. quote, the secretary shall develop all health care components that shall include tooth level surveillance, unquote. tooth level surveillance. that phrase is hitherto unknown to human history. [laughter] but it's in obamacare. george iii never went in for tooth level surveillance. if the stories about george washington's wooden teeth were true, that would've killed the american revolution right there and then. i'm not sure even colonel
gadhafi goes in for tooth level service. from colonial subjects to denture servitude in a mere quarter millennia. [laughter] [applause] m is for monopoly. i mentioned a moment ago that the aspen ideas festival has great thinkers like barbra streisand. so i would like to cite another great thinker, george harrison of the beatles. in 1969 george morris arison in the course of a wide-ranging ramble briefly detoured out of the harry krishna chants and lsd into some remarks about the monopolies commission which is the british version of the u.s. antitrust division. and he goes you know, this is the thing i don't like. it's the monopoly commission. if kodak or someone is cleaning up the market with film, the monopolies commission, the comments sent them in and say you're not allowed to monopolize. yet when the government is
monopolizing, who's going to send in the monopolies commission to solve that one out? that is one of the most billion observations on government that has ever been made. there was an old joke in britain at the time, why is there only one monopolies commission? [laughter] it is, in fact, an incisive observation on the nature of government. we wouldn't like it if there's only one automobile comfort are only one breakfast ago. but by definition it can only be one government. which is why in george's which when the government monopolized, it should do so only in very limited areas. and that's particularly true for national governments when the nation to govern is more than 300 million people, dispersed over a continent. but i think it gets worse that because it's not just a monopoly of power. right now we have rule by monopoly of ideas, which is the
most dangerous monopoly of all. in fact, that kind of monopoly of gray matter. as it were. take, for example, our so-called meritocracy. we are ruled by effectively not technocrats, not a meritocracy but a cartel of conformal crafts who impose essentially a there'll of outmoded outdoes. michael beschloss hailed him as part of the most smartest guy ever to become president, unquote. why would you say such a thing? i mean, other than an impressive talent of self-promotion what has he ever done? even as the legendary thinker, what an original thought has he ever expressed in his entire life? and yet he's quote probably the spores got every to become president says michael beschloss, and he's a presidential historian, so he should know because he's a smart
guy, too. and lending a hand, another smart guy, david brooks, of "the new york times" hailed the incoming administration as a collection of supersmart eggheads, credential to the health quote, if a foreign enemy attacks the united states during the harvard and yale game, anytime over the next four years, we are screwed, unquote. he was right. over a quarter of obama's political that ties to harvard, over 90% had advanced degrees, and yet we are screwed anyway. how did that happen? what kind of supersmart guys all think the same thing? we are governed by conform bureaucrats who live in a bubble. where the ruling class that thinks alike and cannot conceive that anyone other than a races, a terrorist or a mentally ill lunatic like my sometime colleague at fox news, paul vaughn williams when he got fired from npr from actually wanted off the reservation for
30 seconds, they did what they do in the soviet union. they say we're just going to send you to the sanatorium, lie down here, then let the men in white coats strapped to a. you will soon be feeling much better. "the new york times" ostentatiously recruits by sending its editors to hire people at african-american journalist convention, the women journalists convention, the hispanic journalists convention, the gay lesbian bisexual and transgender journalist convention. it recruits on the basis of diversity of race, diversity agenda, diversity of orientation, every diversity except the only one that matters, diversity of ideas. and if anyone could use some new ideas right now, it's america's wretched elite ruling class. [applause] >> a. is for arteriosclerosis.
which is really the shortest answer to obama. yes, we can. no, he can pick have you tried to? the zoning committee, the planning committee, the environmental impact study. try putting that on the end, the asterisk after yes, we can. america is easing up. i cite the most obvious example in my book, the 10 year hole in the ground in lower manhattan that should shame everyone of us here. because destroying those buildings is something america's enemies did to us. leaving the hole in the ground for a decade is something we did to ourselves. the empire state building, which was the tallest in the world back then, was put up in 18 months during a depression. where's that spirit today? what can you do in 18 months today? that 10 year hole in the ground in lower manhattan is profound and eloquent and what it's telling us about america's sclerosis.
g is the global retreat. as britain and other great powers quickly learned, the price of the government at home is an ever smaller presence abroad. first comes reorientation, the shrinking of the horizon. after empire britain turned inward. between 1951-1987 the proportion of government expenditure on defense staff from 24%, to 7% while the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22%, to 53%. and as before tony blair's new labour government came along in 1997 to widen the gap even further. now i'm sure, you know, for the 53% welfare spending you saw what a bang for the buck they got in, on your tv screen this last week. when they spent that, within living memory the city in flames on our tv screens every night. governed by this of the earth's surface and a quarter of its
population. it then converted its priorities and spent all that money on its nanny state charges at home. will its spectacular results. you can see if you'd made the mistake of booking a trip to historic london in the next six weeks. good luck with that. that is the same trajectory every great power embarks upon in retreat because you could have euro signs in the gentleman's time has expired at home or global reach a broad, but not both the you can see already in our war in libya, i don't know how many of you remember the lady wore. it was in all the papers for about 48 hours. it's still going on out there, apparently. and then it fell off the radar screen. i believe it's in the guinness book of world records for the world's fastest quagmire. the president spent the first month of wartime the american people of all, you don't need to worry, we're not running this show. which is along for the ride. we don't go to the beach.
the point is on the need to know basis and we don't need to know. it's not a war, it's a kinetic scope limited action. and it eventually announced so reluctant would it have anything to do with a kinetic scope limited action that they announced a new supreme allied commander of kinetic scope limited action was general, a canadian general. i'm a canadian. i didn't have no, we still have generals. [laughter] ..
they were all enjoying this glimpse of the post-american world in libya right now. a world in which the global order maker of the last 60 years not only can't enforce its will but no longer makes any serious attempt to do so. they're looking forward to that world. e, is for engineering and, the idealogical homygenity and social engineering of our education system would be regarded as child abuse i think in any other age. aside from its other defects it diverts too many americans into frivolous unproductive activity while our competitors get on with the real work. in 1940 a majority of the u.s. population had no more than a grade 8 education. by 2008, 40% of 18 to
24-year-olds are enrolled in college. we're on track to a world in which the typical american is almost twice as old by the time he completes his education was he was in 1940. he spent over twice as long in the classroom and in theory gotten twice as much attention from his school mom because the pupil-teacher ratio is half of what it was a century ago. education is the biggest single structural defect in the united states right now. no country needs to send a majority, never mind all, as president obama's ambition, all of its children to college and no country should. if only because not every child has the aptitude to benefit and every child who has the aptitude wants to go or needs to. for most who wind up there, college is a waste of time and money and life. hacks pretend to teach, slackers pretend to learn and employers pretend it is a qualification. we have a trillion dollars, american individuals, hold a
trillion dollars just in college debt. that is the equivalent of a g-7 economy, just in one small boutique niche market of debt. you recall that before she ascended to the throne of first lady, michelle obama worked for the university of chicago hospital. she wasn't a nurse. she wasn't a doctor. she wasn't even a janitor. she was taken on by the hospitals to run, quote, programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, staff diversity and minority contracting, unquote. she was a diverse-ocrat a booming industry in elite america. in 2005 just as her husband was coming to national prominence, by strange coincidence, the happy coincidence which the ruling class in chicago are often blessed she received impressive $200,000 pay
raise and was appointed vice president for community and external affairs in charge of managing the hospital's business diversity program. mrs. obama, famously complained that america is quote, just down right mean, unquote. and you can see what she is getting at. she had to make do with a lousy $316,962 plus benefits for a job so necessary to the hospital, that when she quit to become first lady, they didn't bother replacing her. [laughter] leave corporate america. that is what she boasted she did. yes, indeed. leave corporate america and get a nonjob as diversity enforcement officer. that's where the big bucks are. you go over the connecticut river to our nabe pores in vermont. go to any vermont college and talk to the students the ambition of most of them is to work for a quote, knowledge profit. -- nonprofit. sournds so nice, doesn't it? the entire state of vermont is a nonprofit.
[laughter] [applause] ben & jerry's used to make a ton of money selling ice cream and then they became a nonprofit. it worked out so well they were bought by the anglo-dutch multinational, unilever. i can't remember when. ben approved the deal or jerry didn't like it or jerry approved the deal but ben didn't like it. one who liked it wholly independent subsidiary of unilever. or uni-ben or jerry lever or something like that. the other guy gets on with all the nonprofit stuff right now. the entire state of vermont is a nonprofit. south america, when you're $15 trillion in the whole, you're the all-time champion of nonprofits. president obama wants the rest of america to follow in his and michelle's footsteps. this is the diversion of too much human capital into wasteful and self-indulgent
activity. they don't do it in china. they don't do it in india. eventually those differences will tell. which is my next letter. d is for decay. because that formula, the governmentallization of more and more of our people is recipe for disaster. mired in dependency and decline, much of the united states will be on a fast track to latin america where there is a privileged, corrupt elite presiding over a vast swamp of poverty. and that leads to the next stage, d is for disintegration. we're becoming the highly singular united state of america. no advanced society ever tried hyper regulating direct rule for 350 million people. will it work? is it more likely increasingly compatible jurisdictions and social groups will conclude that the price for keeping 50 stars in the flag is too high? a post-prosperity america is going to fracture. i just don't mean on ethic
lines where you have millions of poor white americans and black americans on the one hand and millions of poor illegal americans on the other. and there is no jobs for either. and i just mean cultural tensions. it is not clear to me that when this country is no longer the world's leading power, that the mullahs of dearborn, what they call michigan-istan want to say in the same polity as gambling of fire island. each might decide they're better off going alone. there is something more basic. take a retired federal bureaucrat in her early 50s, retired on fantastic unsustainable pension benefits and health benefits, and enjoying the early years of what is in effect a 30-year holiday weekend, she lives at 26 elm street. the guy at 24 he will misdemeanor street went exactly the same school as her. he doesn't get the 30-day
holiday weekend. he has to go to work at hardware store until he drops dead to fund lavish retirement benefits of his neighbor and the retirement that he will never know. those two people can not coexist in the same street anymore than they can in athens or in london. another chasm, young versus old. what is left of american youth will be taxed to the hilt to pay for the retirement and medical care of a baby boom generation who enjoyed a life of american prosperity that their kids will never know. look at the flashmobs. look at the gleeful rampage at the wisconsin state fair and ask yourself whether there will be more or less of that in a post-prosperity america? o is for open season. i said earlier, if you find it hard to imagine a world without america that the russians, the chinese, and the mullahs don't. they're making plans for it. for 60 years the american security umbrella has absolved the wealthiest nations on the planet from paying for their own defense. they have gotten used to it. the united states army lives
in germany. if you like the german welfare system as many americans do, good for you. because you're paying for it. because you freed up the german military budget so they could beat their swords into welfare checks. now we've decided, we decided we like to live like the swedes and belgians but without a sugar daddy to take care of us as we took care of europe. we live on a planet in which north korea is assisting iranians with their delivery systems and iranians are promising to share their nukes with sudan. north korea has an you know detectable gdp. it doesn't just have a low gdp. it has a gdp that is not statistically measurable when you compare it with gabon. there is no gdp. all they export are nuclear technology and knock-off viagra. you can not measure north korea's gdp. but it is a nuclear power. we face the prospect of a world in which the wealthiest society in
history from norway to new zealand, are incapable of defending their borders while third world basket cases go nuclear. how long do you think that arrangement is going to last? and on that kind of planet, it is not hard to figure out what comes next. n is for nukes away. so just given you, just spelled out letter by letter the thesis of my book. a is for addiction, r is for redistribution. m is for monopoly. a. , sr. for tear yo so rose sis. g is global retreat. e for education and social engineering. d is for decay. d is for disintegration. o is for open season. n is for nukes away. put them all together and they spell? yes, armage double don. o, n. from state regulated lemonade sales to nuclear
devastation, from fiscal ruin to planetary ruin in nothing flat. if you don't want that to happen you need to get serious and need to demand your candidates get serious. it is not about putting john kerry on a congressional supercommittee to report back about raising the age of medicare eligibility from the 65 to 67 in the year 2050. there isn't going to be a 2050 if that is the best john kerry can do. the best he can do for america is to go and wind surf off nantucket in that hugging yellow spandex. [applause] boy, that got a, bigger cheer than the tocqueville schtick. don't be cruel to john kerry. he thinks that yellow spandex does wonders for his figure. [laughter] i think he should wind surf off nantucket until 2050.
he is doing the least damage out there. let's not make him, let's not let him make landfall until 2050 and we might just get out this ink. those of us on the receiving end of john kerry's genius need to understand it is not about mid century, it is about mid-deck qaed. it is about right now. the united states is still different. you know this. in the wake of the economic meltdown, the decadent youth of france rioted over the most modest proposals to increase the retirement age. elderly students in britain attacked the heir to the throne's car over attempts to constrain bloated, wasteful and pointless university costs. everywhere from iceland to bulgaria, angry mobs besiege their parliaments demanding the sail thing. why didn't you the government do more for me? america was the only nation in the developed world where millions of people took to the streets to tell the state, i can do just fine if you control state tugs and
shove non-stimulating stimulus, jobless, jobs bill and million at this billion dollar pork athons and stay the hell out of my life and the hell out of my pocket. that is -- [applause] that's the america that has a sporting chance. even as america's spendaholic government outspends not only america's ability to pay for it but by some measures the planet's, even as it follows britain in the dank pit of transgenerational dependency and a failed education system and unsustainable entilements, even as it makes less and less and mortgages its future to its rivals for cheap chinese trinkets, most americans, including far too many of my friends on the right assume simply because they're america they're insulated from the consequences. i have this with my friends
on fox news last week when i said you couldn't seriously argue that we didn't deserve the downgrade. you couldn't seriously argue that this nation was aaa with $15 trillion in debt. my friends on fox news, the most right-wing guys in the america media says, what do you mean? of course we're aaa. we're better than aaa. we should have a call kruper pell a category just for us. the loser countries, 18 countries in the aaa category, they're loser nations. they can't compare with us. we need to understand, we are not aaa. when you got $15 trillion in debt you can't be aaa. when you have 10 times that in unfunded liabilities you can't be aaa. cecil rhodes the great british, actually wasn't a great british imperialist, remarkedly unpleasant man but he -- forgot where i was for a minute. got to remember.